I'm a 50-year-old bisexual woman who has had more than my share of interesting male lovers, and I'm currently happily monogamous with the guy of my dreams. This is my advice to 15-year-old girls:
1. Befriend members of the opposite sex. Guys are people too. They have feelings, ideas, and interests. Know them as individuals. See them for who they are. Curb the fantasies. Cinderella is a fairy tale. Honest.
2. Have a life--a real life. Don't revolve your life around looking for the Guy.
3. Cultivate interests in "guy" things. Consider becoming a carpenter, a mechanic, riding motorcycles, playing rock music, taking up martial arts. That's where you will meet lots of het guys. You won't meet them in ballet classes, or at fashion shows.
4. It's good to take care of your health and your appearance--eat right, exercise, wear clothes that look good on you. But no guy wants to wait a half an hour while you apply makeup. Don't obsess over insignificant details.
5. Be independent. Take care of yourself. Earn your own money. Own your feelings. Think your own thoughts.
6. Be trustworthy. An intimate relationship is sacred. Don't tell your girlfriends everything that happens with you and the Guy.
7. Understand what makes you tick sexually. And go for it, ask for it, initiate it. Enjoy.
8. Understand that most relationships are not forever--they have a beginning and an end. The fact that something ends does not negate the time you spent together. Forgive, move on, and if appropriate, stay in touch. Ex-lovers can make wonderful friends.
9. Disregard all this advice if you are looking to be a trophy wife, or to marry for money. I'm only talking about Love, Sex, and Happiness.
- Lucky In Love
Fifteen-year-old girls think they have to advertise, wear silly clothes, giggle, and flirt. They think that being single is the end of the world. I know: It wasn't that long ago for me. Dating baffled me; I was scared and lonely and thought I'd never meet anyone who would like me without me sacrificing most of my personality to attract them. After a steady stream of "boyfriends," many mistakes and a gradual realization that the nice boys liked me BECAUSE of my personality, I finally stopped believing that not having a boyfriend at 15 was the end of the world. It'll happen. Give it time. Do things that make you YOU before you get desperate to find someone else. Be YOU--whether YOU are a nerdy secret bondage pixie or a wholesome gal with a collection of designer dildos--and it'll happen before you realize it.
- Been In Those Shoes
I realize that you only invited adult female readers to write in response to GAL's plea for advice, but I thought I'd take initiative and write to you anyway. I'm a 15-year-old guy and my advice is this: A lot of teenage guys have a lot of trouble reading subtle hints from girls, especially girls they like. The best way to get a guy's attention is to be obvious. Let him know that you've got a thing for him, and give him a chance to respond. Another thing that would be good is to initiate conversations. Despite what guys may say, a lot of us are really shy around girls, and if a girl initiates a conversation with us, we'll feel a lot more comfortable talking to them, and telling them we're interested in them.
- Some Helpful Hints
The 15 Things I Wish I Had Known When I Was 15
1. Confidence is sexier than big boobs, a tiny waist, or long blond hair will ever be.
2. Medicated face wash will save your life.
3. 15-year-old guys are just as shy around girls as girls are around them. Beware the 15-year-old guys who can kick game.
4. Making the first move is no longer taboo.
5. Chances are, he is not picking up on the subtle "I like you" signals you're sending out. A smile here and "Hi" there will not be enough for him to know you like him; you may have to tackle him in the hallway with a note that spells it all out, in no confusing terms.
6. At 15, three weeks constitutes a "long-term" relationship.
7. Rejection is not the end of the world, unless you make it that way.
8. You have the boobs; you make the rules.
9. That being said, having the power of the boobs is like having the force; be careful how and when you use it.
10. Not all guys are created equal.
11. Your mom is right; that outfit DOES make you look like a whore.
12. There WILL be rumors.
13. Being fun and funny will get you further than being catty and bitchy.
14. He's not as great as you think he is.
15. The most popular, pretty girl in school is just as awkward and confused as you are.
- Adrienne H.
I work as a teen librarian, which means that a variety of 12-18-year-olds attempt to attract each other within ear shot every day (it's often as ugly as it sounds). I have three pieces of advice for your 15-year-old female reader. First, don't forget about hygiene! I see a lot of girls that are so busy trying to catch some guy (or girl's) eye that they forget the basics like, uh, showering and wearing deodorant. Second, don't try to be something you're not. I see a lot of girls that go the opposite end of the hygiene thing, and coat themselves with a layer of makeup that's an inch thick. Wearing whore makeup and pants that fall four inches under your ass crack might get you attention, but trust me girls, it's not the kind of attention you want. And lastly, get a damn hobby or something! If you want to attract quality guys who are actually going to be interesting, stop giggling when they walk by and think of something interesting to talk about. Hope this helps!
- Acronyms Are Tricky
What do I wish I knew at age 15? That I should live my life as if I would never have a man. I wish I had known that I should be financially self-sufficient, that I should cultivate interests in things I enjoy, that I should grow friendships that will stand the test of time. I wish I'd known then that I should make a life for myself that I enjoy and find fulfilling. And then if a guy comes along who can complement, not substitute for, my life he is the gravy, not the whole damn meatloaf.
And I wish I had known, and this is important, that a good, emotionally healthy man will appreciate me for being a human being with a full life outside of any sexual or romantic relationship. Any man who expects less is not someone I want to waste a Saturday night on, let alone the rest of my life.
- Joyful In Baltimore
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